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Mon - Feb 27, 2012 : 04:42 pm
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Musical Ramblings...
Okay, so I recently watched a documentary on the Foo Fighters called "Back and Forth", and I thought it was really well made - okay, I thought it was awesome.  The funny thing is - I don't own a single Foo Fighters album, and am really not familiar with them as a band, even though I generally like the "rock" genre they associate themselves with.

Let's break for a moment from that introduction to this literary masterpiece by a very brief introduction:

Hi.  I'm Jason, and I like music.  I also have played drums for the past 20 (or so) years.  I've been a recording engineer / producer / mixing engineer for the past decade.  I also own and operate a (very) small recording studio.

There... Now you know exactly who I am and where I'm coming from.  Anyway, so much for structure.

Let me just say that you should never try to write anything intelligent while listening to Foo Fighters.  It's highly counter-productive, but right now, that doesn't matter much to me for some reason.

Anyway, on to the topic at hand.

I've never been much of a conformist concerning music, and have really just flowed with the things that seem to make most sense to me - as does most of humanity.  I guess I am a conformist.  Oh well, what I'm trying to get at is that I really like Linux.  (did I mention I'm a computer geek, too?)

Stay with me here, this will all make sense at some point, I'm sure.

So, after being supremely impressed with how Dave Grohl decided to make their last album, "Wasting Light", and even more impressed after actually listening to it, and then even *MORE* impressed (but not surprised) when they won "Best Rock Album" at the Grammy's, I decided to read up a bit more on the details of this band and Mr. Grohl.

That's when I ran into this gem of a quote, and I quote:

"I feel like digital recording has gotten out of control. It's too easy to control. When you're recording to analog tape, it captures performance and you can't necessarily manipulate that in different ways. It is what it is.

When I listen to music these days, and I hear Pro Tools and drums that sound like a machine- it kinda sucks the life out of music."

I just about cried.  openly.

Now, before you think I'm a total snob, let me say that I think Dave was out of his mind to go back to 100% analog for his album.  That's like saying you'd rather walk for 5 hours each day to get to work because you get a better view.  Kudos, Dave.  You're a magician, because it full-well worked.

Anyway, what Dave said makes worlds of sense to me.  You see, since the beginning of my studio, I chose to use Linux-based tools for recording, so I don't have access to a lot of the "Protools plugins" that make everything perfect.  For this, I've used the excuse that "everything sounds the same on the radio" due to the ubiquity of Protools, and people seemed to buy it.  What the hey, I even bought it.

...and then some years passed...

...and I bought it even more.

I have had multiple opportunities to jump on the Protools bandwagon, and I just haven't done it.  Business is business, and I ain't dead yet, so I think I'm gonna keep on going on the way I am.  The Linux platform works well for creating music, and it forces me to get (and stay) creative.  I also am confident when I say that the music coming from my studio is unique from many angles, and your recording definitely will *not* sound like a Protools production.  As odd as it may seem, I'll guarantee you that it won't sound perfect, either...  ...but it will sound like you.  Computers do some things well, and mathmatical perfection is one of them.  Sucking the soul from your music is another.

...anyway...  I have no idea what I'm trying to say, other than it's nice to hear someone who is insanely successful in the music business say something that I personally believe in.

I'm gonna listen to the rest of this album now, and then I'm gonna go make some stellar recordings with musicians who enjoy what I can do for them.

Life is good.  Stop by the studio sometime and let's create some music!
Comment by Creedence McNabb on Feb. 27, 2012 @ 05:49 pm
Hey, that's what I love about stopping by the studio! I listen to those tracks and I can sit there and say "Hey, that's me!"

I'll hear those little mistakes that maybe nobody would notice, or maybe even thought was perfectly right, and I get to smile cause nobody else is actually going to notice!

In other words, I very much appreciate your sensitivity to making the real thing sound great, instead of replacing it with something that would be "perfect" but not real. And I promise I will be coming in soon, I just need my strings!
Comment by DCWAVE on Feb. 28, 2012 @ 03:23 pm
Jason,

I hear ya! I would rather make an album that captures the emotion, the soul, the energy of a performer than make sure it's perfect. Having been primarily focused since 1999 on music for TV, Film and Corporate, making "beat" perfect underscore was parmount. But when I started recording acoustic musicians about 5 years ago, and most recently bands again, my need to make it time-aligned perfect is gone.

Now, My challenge to you is - will you get rid of the autotune unit!?!?! :) let the raw unadulterated voice shine forth! HAHAHA

DC

 

P.S.  - I have seen Dave Grohl's "garage studio" and if my garage had the gear he had I am pretty sure I could get a grammy too. He likes to come off as the hip indie artist, but he's been a corporate rock performer since he was 20. BTW - he did use PT for some things after tracking to tape. Cheers
Comment by Jason on Feb. 28, 2012 @ 07:54 pm
Yo, Dave and Creedence..  Thanks for the comments!  I always look forward to working more with you, Creedence.

..and as for Dave, I know you're just busting my chops because you've already gone over to the dark side, (ha!) but honestly, I'd love to get rid of my auto-tuner.  Problem is, some people just can't sing, and I can't sing for em'.  If I were using the auto-tuner as much as the industry does, I'd gladly pound the crap out of it with a hammer.  These tools, in my opinion, should be used as tools, not platforms.  Having the mentality that *every* voice needs autotuning (or even every melodic instrument) makes no sense to me, nor does it that every drum track require beat-detective.  Used in moderation, these tools can firm things up where things get messy and ability or time keeps the performance itself from being top-notch.  They are tools, just like reverb and delay are tools.  I use em' where they make sense.

As far as Grohl goes, ahem, ... selling out Wimbledon?  Yeah, I don't think there's a soul on earth who think's he's indie.  hehe... he sells far too much music.

...and I'm very curious where you heard he used pro-tools on the tracks??  I'm pretty sure the album was mastered using digital tools, but not before mastering.  Even the sound of the album itself seems almost directly antithetical to the pro-tools sound, and I love it.

...anyway... Good to hear from ya again, Dave!  You able to record drums now?  I'd love to hear some stuff coming out of your studio, man!
Comment by DCWAVE on Feb. 28, 2012 @ 09:35 pm
Jason... Gearslutz rumor that there was some editing done in PT. I'll see if I can find it again. Seemed like a good source.

 

Yes, remodel done. Just did 8 songs all drums. You should come over check it out.

Let me know when you want to.
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